Your Rights




We will pay $500.00 to any person for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any insurer steering a consumer to a particular repair shop!

You have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the shop of your choice. Don’t give up your right to a proper repair.

You lose when you give up your right to choose!

What Are My Rights
With My Insurance Company?

Use Any Shop

Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car?

Yes. In order to expedite your claim, select the repair shop; leave your automobile there; and notify your insurance agent or company. This applies regardless of whether your vehicle is leased, financed or you own it outright.

Do I need to get three estimates?

No. You do not have to obtain more than one estimate. You only need one estimate, from the shop of your choice.

All insurance companies owe to return your damaged vehicle to pre-loss condition as related to appearance, function and value.

You are not required to bring your vehicle to the insurance company. If they intend to see the damage, they must come to you. You may also leave the vehicle at the repair shop. The insurer has 6 business days after you report a loss to them within which to inspect the vehicle, or they forfeit their rights to see the damage.

If you are offered a check, take it! Do not sign any releases; you are not required to sign under any law. If you deposit the check, write upon it, “Open for additional damage, all rights reserved”.

You do not have to drive a damaged vehicle if any safety item is affected. You can be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle. Towing is an expense covered under all insurance claims. You are entitled to two tows per loss. The first tow is allowed to safely secure the vehicle from further loss; the second tow, to a repair shop of your choice.

You do not have to accept non-original or counterfeit parts to repair your vehicle; remember the buzzwords here: “Pre-loss condition and value”.

Remember, a collision shop that’s on an “Insurer’s program or list” got there because they cut a deal for cheapest parts and obeys insurer cost-cutting directives. These “deals” may not be in your best interests.

Do not get an estimate from a shop you would not let repair your vehicle.

It is your right to consult an attorney at any time throughout a claim. You may have additional rights that he/she may advise you on. You have the right to access all the provisions of your policy that apply to your loss.

Imitation Parts

Insurance companies cannot force us to use imitation parts.

Make sure only Original Equipment Manufacturers’ parts are used in the repair of your vehicle. Imitation parts are not always as good as the original, and we believe our customers should be assured of a top quality repair. After all, you pay premiums month after month just to have the assurance that your car will always be protected. Using substandard parts can put the condition of the car in jeopardy.

OEM Parts

Get Real when it comes to Parts!

The insurance appraiser’s opinion of what constitutes a proper repair may include; “parts from sources other than your vehicle’s manufacturer or non-original parts.” It may also include the specification of parts from a junk- yard. Insurance companies can put a spin on anything. They may try to convince you that these parts are as good or just like the parts on your car.

That using these parts makes economic and environmental sense. It makes sense economically for them not you! After some 40 years in collision repair I can say without hesitation that aftermarket collision parts are 99.9% of the time, not as good as the original!

My personal opinion of Aftermarket Parts is that they are close copies. So is a fake Rolex®. If your Rolex® was lost would a copy be just as good?

We don’t take the responsibility of returning your vehicle to pre-accident condition lightly. Bottom line: The insurer is responsible to restore the damaged vehicle to a specific condition. Unless your vehicle had non-original parts on it before a loss or the damaged part was rusted and rotted out, non-original parts do not restore any vehicle to pre-loss condition.

Given the example of a rusted or previously replaced non-OEM part would be the only circumstance insurance company should specify these parts.

Assuming a vehicle is relatively new, had original parts in place, a factory warranty remaining in effect prior to the loss, the mere idea of installing a non-original parts would be in conflict with the warranty provisions. Not only will the inferior, lighter, un-crash tested, un-sponsored counterfeit, non-original parts not fit the vehicle properly, they would violate the policy provisions of returning the vehicle to pre-accident condition. If “close” is good enough for you then it is your prerogative to accept aftermarket parts.

The same holds true for parts specified from a junkyard. No one can be certain how much damage was sustained by a part that has been retrieved from a salvage vehicle that was involved in an accident that was severe enough to consider the vehicle a total loss. No vehicle manufacturer will warranty a part installed on a vehicle that has been retrieved from a junkyard. Ford, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Volvo and almost every other vehicle maker has issued statements that state that non-original or salvage parts from a junk yard will void the warranty to that part and any connecting or attaching component or system. Given these facts the parts are not equal to new OEM parts, period!

We have seen insurers so intent on controlling claims cost that they offer to guarantee the specified non-original or junk yard part themselves. It sort of becomes a codicil to your factory warranty in theory. The problem is, does a consumer’s right to recover end with that issue? Have you really recovered if your vehicle is rebuilt/restored with non-original or salvage parts from a junkyard and a makeshift warranty? In our opinion, you have not recovered at all. (See “Diminished Value”)

Remember that our goal is to return your vehicle to pre-loss conditions. We are not asked to re-engineer the vehicle. As you can see from our expanded explanation, Insurer and shops differ in the proposed repair process. Our staff is trained and is knowledgeable in handling the process and associated pitfalls so that our mutual goals are addressed.

Regardless of the insurer-specified repair, you will be informed of the details by us, involving repair, as the process continues. Once a method of repair and the specified process is outlined, we order the parts as agreed or directed by you. Since a major part of the damage diagnostics have been done, necessary parts identified are ready to order. Generally, it takes 5-7 working days to obtain parts for standard vehicles. While waiting for parts to arrive, work will continue on preliminary repair or structural work. It may be started in anticipation of fit-testing of the new parts. All unibody or frame repairs are completed in our in-house frame and structural alignment department.

Diminished Value

What is Diminished Value?

Diminished value is the loss in a vehicle’s market value due to accident damage and repair.

Three things affect diminished value:

  • Inherent diminished value: the automatic loss in vehicle market value from an accident.
  • Repair-related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to substandard-quality repairs.
  • Insurance-related diminished value: loss in vehicle market value due to insurance claims practices.

Who is Entitled to Diminished Value?

You are–if your vehicle has been in an accident, you have lost money. This loss is owed to you for up to two years after your loss.

Who Pays Diminished Value?

Either your insurance company or the person responsible for the accident and their insurance company. You are owed compensation for diminished value by law even if your vehicle has been repaired correctly.

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